Sunday, January 27, 2008

Personal Style in Jewelry Design

How do you decide what your style is for jewelry design? I have had difficulty with this. Do you? I've made lots of jewelry in a somewhat classic style, and most of it uses sterling silver. I find I am partial to Czech glass, Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls. I also enjoy lampwork beads. Although I like semi-precious gemstones, I don't use them as often as glass. I am trying to decide if it is because I don't enjoy them as much or if the cost of quality gemstones is a factor. I do know that the sparkle and glow of a lovely crystal, especially one that has multiple colors in it or one that has an AB finish that will make it sparkle and reflect colors differently depending upon the light really grabs my attention.

I've noticed the jewelry made in a vintage style with brass findings and find them absolutely charming and delightful. I am enjoying creating jewelry in that style now in addition to the other type of jewelry I've been making. The problem is that I should have a distinct style for marketing my work, and I don't want to decide on one over the other. Does anyone else struggle with this? Please leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas. I'd love to hear from other fellow jewelry artists.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bead Organization

Hooray! It's Saturday! I can play with my beads today. This is a picture of the place where I work on my designs. I really enjoy this room. I totally reorganized my beads this last week. I used to store them by type of bead. I had all the Swarovski crystals sorted by colors in one plastic organizer box, then the Czech crystals sorted by color in a couple of other boxes, the pearls in another, the semi-precious in another, etc.

I found that I was pulling out box after box of beads to find a perfect match or complement for something in a piece I was designing. I would more often find myself wanting to locate the perfect blue bead rather than just the right pearl bead. So now I organized everything by color. I have several organizers for each color. I have those great Craftmate small organizers for tiny beads, and Darice organizers for larger beads. I hope this helps. I will be trying out using this new system this weekend.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I haven't had time to post lately. My day job has taken up much more of my time lately. Finally I completed some new pieces to sell for Valentine's day. I always enjoy creating jewelry for Valentine's day. See my newest collection at my website Plum Beadacious! I am particularly pleased with this one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Etsy Shops Directory

I joined the Etsy Shops Directory. What a fun place to browse and shop. Lots of people revew each others shops. Have a look at it. See my link lower right. Look for me under the Jewelry section. You can select the shop you want if you know the name. Just click on the letter of the alphabet for your shop. Mine is L.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fashion Trend Purple

After I wrote on Wednesday about the color purple, I could hardly believe it when I looked at the lifestyle section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning and saw on the cover of that section that all shades of purple are the new fashion and home decorating colors. I guess I am now riding the wave. HOORAY!

So in honor of Valentine's day which is fast approaching, take a look at my purple heart earrings.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lavender Sparkle

I like the color purple and its many variations. Have you ever noticed how some people kind of giggle or snicker when you say you like purple? I am not sure why. I think the color has gotten a bad rap. I painted a bedroom a beautiful shade of violet several years ago, and I still like it. (I should say my husband painted the bedroom. I just did a tiny amount of trim.) I have a plum colored shirt, a lavendar sweater, a periwinkle jacket, and a deep purple sweatsuit.

My newest purple treasure is this bracelet and earrings set. I call it 'Lavendar Sparkle'. I made this with Czech glass cathedral beads and bright silver filigree tube beads. Then on the end of the extender chain there is a tanzanite Swaroski crystal. There is not a bit of sterling silver in this set, and I think that is just fine. It is a fun item to be worn whenever the whim hits.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Beginnings for a New Year

Happy New Year! What better day to start a new blog than the very first day of a promising year. I am LeAllyson, and I will share my experiences and ideas about handcrafted jewelry, marketing my craft, beads, and whatever else finds its way to these pages.

It started in 2004. My daughter had come home to visit me, and during her stay she introduced me to making beaded jewelry. We headed for a local bead shop and bought a few things, and then went to Hobby Lobby to load up on beads at better prices. I had no idea what I was doing and bought beads indiscriminately, not paying much attention to the quality.
We got some findings, and went home to play.

At the time, it was just a lark, not a passion, or even a very big interest. It was something to spend time with my daughter. I remember she showed me how to string my beads, place beads on a headpin and make a loop ( my first pendant), and how to squeeze a crimp tube with a plain pair of pliers to crimp the ends of my new creation. My hands felt gigantic and awkward as I tried to accomplish these things. However, I finished our session with a necklace and a bracelet, and I wear both of them to this day.

More importantly, I was hooked! Ever since then I have collected beads and beautiful findings. I have become much more selective about these and have fine crystals, semi-precious stones, lampwork beads, freshwater pearls, Czech glass, sterling silver, pewter and gold fill items. I have spent countless hours practicing wire wrapping my loops, opening and closing jump rings, and making a nice looking and secure crimp. I have poured over jewelry design and beading books and magazines, and viewed hundreds of web sites to learn more and to find inspiration.

By 2006 I had loads of jewelry made and decided to try my hand at selling it. First, I placed my jewelry on eBay. Later that year I started my website, Plum Beadacious. That opened a whole new challenge.

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